Chapter 33

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CHAPTER 33

I was all to aware of Norman's return and all too aware of what he might do. I was all too aware that Harry and I were in desperate need of escape. The fact was too clear that this glimmer of hope instilled in the present would be broken at any spontaneous moment. But, unfortunately all of these loud and demanding concerns could not be quieted overnight. In a perfect world, we would have a way out and an escape ahead of us, in just a few days of planning. But I had learned a long time ago that a perfect world did not exist. No matter how hard we tried, no matter how much gruel our minds endured to figure something out, the job could not be done in that short of a time frame. The walls of the institution stood as barriers not only to the insane but also to the monstrous task of escape. Escape and . . . privacy. Well, mine and Harry's privacy. Because a few kisses to the cheek or a few minutes of Harry's lips on mine in Lori's office were, well, not enough.

Rather than dwell on impure thoughts of Harry's wonderful shoulders and strong chest and broad back and smooth skin and beautifully full lips, I looked to the end of the hallway, near Kelsey's office. Kevin, my guard, was at my right to make sure I didn't perform an action that would fit my description of "criminally insane." I had one goal in mind at this weekly unneeded therapy session. Well, maybe it was needed, but there were other things we needed to talk about.

On the way, though, there were a few things I noticed that I usually wouldn't. A patient who was acting perfectly normal was being grabbed too tight, by a scruffy guard that was standing too close. He was a little too loud and shoved her into her cell a little too hard. She even cried out in pain as her body fell to the floor with his harsh push. He didn't even apologize, he just slammed the cage-like door and strolled away. And it's not like I was expecting the guards to be all that nice, but that wasn't the first time I had seen something like that happen. Being cooped up in Lori's office most of the time when I served as an employee didn't allow me to see much of the institution for more than a few minutes. But being out here as one of them, I realized that most of the employees were unnecessarily rough, as if we were animals rather than people. I had just gotten lucky with Kevin, who hasn't hurt me since he's been my guard. Well, not yet anyway.

I opened the door to Kelsey's office while Kevin stayed outside, out of sight and out of earshot. "Kelsey, how the hell are we gonna get out of here? Where are all of the exits? Do you have a map of the institution?"

"Hey Kelsey, how are you? Good, thanks for asking," she mocked.

I shot her a glare. "How about you ask me how I am Kelsey? Oh, I'm just great, I really love being a mental patient at an institution for criminals, you should try it sometime. It's lovely."

"I'm just kidding," Kelsey laughed. "Come on, sit down."

I sighed and smiled weakly, complying and taking a seat.

"What do you want? A map?"

"Yeah, is there one?" I asked. If we were going to get out, knowing where to actually get out from was a good place to start.

"Maybe," she answered. Her expression seemed hopeful. "I could try to get you one. I'm sure there's, like, a blueprint of the building somewhere at least."

"Thank you," I said, hoping that she could hear in my voice how much I meant it.

"Of course. I won't be able to get it to you until next week when you come meet me again, though."

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